NYC freight house

Find an old ROW or want to know what the name of that one tower along the EL was? Post any historical questions or comments here. Open to any era from around the Ft Wayne area. Interurbans welcome!

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Bob Durnell
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NYC freight house

Post by Bob Durnell » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:01 pm

A thought occurred to me the other day driving past the NYC freight house. The building seems AWFULLY big for the amount of freight I would have expected to handled by the NYC into Fort Wayne. Am I missing a part of the picture? Does anybody have a build date for the building? I am also kind of curious about the condition of the building. Is it salvageable? Does anybody think it could play a role in the developement of the the former yards property, or are we destined to lose another part of our rail history?
If my opinions offend you, you should see the ones I keep to myself........

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Hotbox
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Re: NYC freight house

Post by Hotbox » Fri Nov 16, 2007 8:57 am

Bob Durnell wrote:A thought occurred to me the other day driving past the NYC freight house. The building seems AWFULLY big for the amount of freight I would have expected to handled by the NYC into Fort Wayne. Am I missing a part of the picture? Does anybody have a build date for the building? I am also kind of curious about the condition of the building. Is it salvageable? Does anybody think it could play a role in the developement of the the former yards property, or are we destined to lose another part of our rail history?
I'm with you, the building looks like it was built to last. With the all masonry exterior, slate roof, etc ..it was obviously intended to stand the test of time.

I can remember seeing the old yard there between the scrap yard and clinton street surprisingly full of freight cars, considering the small amount of traffic I assumed NYC must have been doing with Ft Wayne..but those cars sure were not unloading themselves...perhaps NYC built the building with growth in mind

Just guessing, but I think it's safe to assume that the city would never allow another freight company to use all those loading docks that face so abruptly toward Clinton Street, given the main artery that Clinton has become.

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Post by wheeler » Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:49 pm

It is a good looking building, and built out of BRICK (non combustable) so it was not cheap to build.
I am surprised that no one has modelled that area of FTW.
But I am busy on my "auburn Junction" project.....
I bet Craig has some good pics of it.

Was it ONLY NYC or was there a REA there too? :?:

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Post by matt » Sun Nov 18, 2007 8:11 am

it's still heartbreaking to drive by there and see no tracks left.when i was a kid and my mom and dad said we were going to my grandma's my first thought was always getting to drive by the yard on clinton street.this was in the mid 80's and if i remember then there were around 5 to 7 tracks in the yard area.and there was still the siding going across clinton to what is now science central with what looked like about the same five boxcars on it all the time.

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Post by wheeler » Mon Nov 19, 2007 6:50 pm

(showing my age) :shock:
I remember riding by therein my parents car when the 765 sat in the park behind a fence, and they still made power at what is now science central. I liked to see the little coal car/tipple machine run up the incline along the street. :wink:
I made me mad to see the engine caged up like that.(6 year old)

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Post by Steve Bryan » Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:53 pm

I'm a little late in replying to the question in the first post as to why the building was so large and when it was built but better late than never.

The freighthouse was built in 1914 by the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern as a union freight depot to handle not only LS&MS traffic but also that of the Lake Erie & Western which, at the time, were both controlled by the Vanderbilt interests. It is an 18,250 Sq. Ft structure of brick bearing walls with a steel truss perlin roof system, supporting a slate roof. The two story office end is 6500 Sq. Ft. on a full concrete basement while the warehouse portion consists of 11,750 Sq. Ft. on a crawl space.

As a point of useless trivia, the bricks used in the building were from the Fort Wayne brick works which was up on Northrup Avenue. The large retaining ponds along the east side of Glenbrook's parking lot were part of the clay pits that supplied the brick works.

The LS&MS later NYC complex was not just the end of a sleepy branch line but was a heavily-used line from a Fort Wayne that was an industrial powerhouse until well after the second world war.

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Post by cjberndt » Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:49 am

DEPOT.

The City has an option to purchase the OmniSource property, including the LS&MS freight house. Discussions about redevelopment of the property have included modifying the interior to permit non-industrial uses, such as a restaurant, office, etc., while maintaining as much of its interior and exterior historic character as possible.

The right-of-way of the street is very close to the east side of the building, and we talked about moving the building in order to get it further away from the highway, but the cost is staggering. We also looked at moving the street to the east a few feet, but that requires realignment of the street and/or bridge, changes to the dam along the river, relocation of underground utilities, etc., etc. Again, very expensive.

If the City does not purchase the property, the new owner may not be constrained to keep the building or maintain its historic character, unless the purchase agreement stipulates it.

FOURTH STREET YARDS.

As Steve said, the 4th St. years were busy. The maps I have show that at one time or another there were at least nine tracks, including mainlines and sidings, that crossed 4th St. west of the freight house. There were several small buildings to the west of the freight house, a side track to Superior Iron & Metal, two roundhouses north of the freight house, side tracks to the City and I&M power houses, and side tracks to other businesses.

As I recall, the side track on which 765 was parked at one time went east to the City’s water filtration plant on Baltes Ave.
Craig Berndt

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Post by Mark » Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:32 pm

cjberndt wrote:DEPOT.



As I recall, the side track on which 765 was parked at one time went east to the City’s water filtration plant on Baltes Ave.
765 was parked on it's own little track on the South side
of Fourth Street.The track to the filtration plant went
Northeast to the North side of Fourth, then crossed Fourth
again and onto it's Spyrun Creek bridge.The bridge still
is used for pedestrians.I was in the Northside High school
band playing for the ceremony when 765 was "dedicated"
It was great being around to seeing it undedicated.

Mark

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Post by Greg46m » Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:58 am

Mark wrote:
I was in the Northside High school
band playing for the ceremony when 765 was "dedicated"
It was great being around to seeing it undedicated.

Mark
You mean when it was "dedicated" from Lima? :roll:
Greg Lavoie - Webmaster

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Post by nathansixchime » Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:54 am

Craig,

Have any recent developments come up concerning the North River Now project?

I have so many wild fantasies about a museum and a restaurant for that area that I cringe to realize they stand little chance of happening. I regret not being able to attend the meetings over the summer regarding the property.

I always wanted to buy the freight house, turn it into a classy big-band 1940s themed restaurant, and call it "The Nickel Plate." Get it?

Going into hiding now,

KL
cjberndt wrote:DEPOT.

The City has an option to purchase the OmniSource property, including the LS&MS freight house. Discussions about redevelopment of the property have included modifying the interior to permit non-industrial uses, such as a restaurant, office, etc., while maintaining as much of its interior and exterior historic character as possible.

The right-of-way of the street is very close to the east side of the building, and we talked about moving the building in order to get it further away from the highway, but the cost is staggering. We also looked at moving the street to the east a few feet, but that requires realignment of the street and/or bridge, changes to the dam along the river, relocation of underground utilities, etc., etc. Again, very expensive.

If the City does not purchase the property, the new owner may not be constrained to keep the building or maintain its historic character, unless the purchase agreement stipulates it.

FOURTH STREET YARDS.

As Steve said, the 4th St. years were busy. The maps I have show that at one time or another there were at least nine tracks, including mainlines and sidings, that crossed 4th St. west of the freight house. There were several small buildings to the west of the freight house, a side track to Superior Iron & Metal, two roundhouses north of the freight house, side tracks to the City and I&M power houses, and side tracks to other businesses.

As I recall, the side track on which 765 was parked at one time went east to the City’s water filtration plant on Baltes Ave.

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Post by wheeler » Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:10 pm

nathansixchime wrote:
I always wanted to buy the freight house, turn it into a classy big-band 1940s themed restaurant, and call it "The Nickel Plate." Get it?
What a great idea! and there is ample parking too!

WHO actually own the building right now?? Omnisource?
The NEW owners may not be aware of your plans/ideas...

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Post by nathansixchime » Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:28 pm

Haha, they have many ideas apparently...

http://northrivernow.org/

And...I'm copywriting the Nickel Plate Club idea ; - )

I think the City has an option to buy from Omni--if they can make the property work.

KL

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Post by JW » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:53 pm

According to channel 21 tomorrow's Fort Wayne J-G is to have latest update on City-Omni talks on the property.

JW

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Post by Notch 8 » Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:48 am

Would anyone on list have pictures or anything that would show the
track diagrams of this area like 50-70 years ago ? Fort Wayne would
have been something for a railfan 75 years ago, still is, but more so
then. The Pennsylvania ! I have seen what I would call little on Fort
Waynes past too bads Winston didn't come to the Fort.

Mike

The Freight House could make a awesome Pub/Bar and or Eatery
but as Craig pointed out earlier the cost would be Astronomical
but is it would come I would go, Screw the Ball Park !

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Post by Michael Meisener » Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:20 pm

I have telephone Diagrams from the fortwayne area in April of 1933 showing everything plus railroad structures and lines. These are copies since I donated the originals to Craig Berndt to give to the 3 River's Historical Society. I will bring my copies and loan out next time we meet for breakfast.

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